Cubs preparations to sell at the MLB Trade Deadline include three key names

Selling times are back for the Chicago Cubs.
Chicago Cubs v San Francisco Giants
Chicago Cubs v San Francisco Giants / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages

The Chicago Cubs' shutout loss to the Los Angeles Angels on Saturday was further confirmation that the Cubs need to be sellers at the Major League Baseball Trade Deadline later this month.

With one week to go before the Major League Baseball All-Star break, the Cubs are 11 games behind the Milwaukee Brewers for first place in the National League Central division. The Cubs are 6 games out of the final card spot in the National with 6 other teams ahead of them. It's further confirmation that there should be no talk about the Cubs buying at the deadline.

It would seem that the decision that is being made by the Cubs' front office is whether they should sell at the deadline or stand pat. While Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that the Cubs have yet to make a decision, the years of Hoyer working under Theo Epstein should tip the team's hand. Epstein has gone on record in saying that a team shouldn't waste the opportunity to sell if the situation dictates it and that is likely how Hoyer will view this year's deadline.

If the Cubs do indeed decide to sell, Nightengale listed the players most likely to go.

"– The Cubs are telling teams they still remain undecided whether they will be sellers at the trade deadline, but are preparing for a potential sale, with Bellinger, Jameson Taillon and Nico Hoerner expected to draw interest. It’s hard to believe how things went south on the Northside after their 17-9 start."

USA Today

Trading Cody Bellinger will not be easy given his power regression and player opt-outs for the next two seasons but the Cubs could get creative with adding financial consideration to a potential deal. The financial consideration is what will be a key element to any Bellinger trade as that would increase the value that the Cubs are getting in return.

Selling winds blow for the Chicago Cubs.

Jameson Taillon would likely net the Cubs a quality package, considering his bounce-back season and the fact that he is under control beyond this season. The Cubs have a plethora of pitching prospects who could fill Taillon's spot in the rotation, and there is also a deep class of free-agent pitchers this winter.

The idea of Nico Hoerner being traded has gained steam in recent weeks. While moving Hoerner would open a spot for either Matt Shaw or James Triantos, it does seem like a move that would be an aggressive sell for a team that should still be in a position to contend next season.

What needs to be stressed is how the Cubs should be selling. The Cubs should not be selling with the goal of acquiring lottery tickets at the lower levels of an organization. The Cubs should be selling with the goal of acquiring young players who are already at the Major League level and under team control for future seasons. If not, then the ask should be prospects that are knocking on the door, but lottery tickets such as what they received in the 2021 sell-off will not be acceptable this year.